Summer research and a world record

Matthew Feldman, a University of Florida student who is conducting research this summer at Rice University, broke a Guinness World Record for joggling – jogging and juggling – July 27 at the Rice University running track. Feldman jogged one mile while simultaneously juggling five balls in 6 minutes, 33.65 seconds. He beat the previous record of 7 minutes, 41 seconds held for 23 years by American Bill Gillen.

Feldman’s official attempt at Rice was part of his efforts to raise awareness and money for Isatome, a community of people in the town of Minamisanriku affected by last year’s Japanese tsunami.

“I felt pretty good, but I was pretty tired,” Feldman said. “6:33 isn’t my personal best time, but I feel good about getting the attempt done and obtaining the record.”

The YouTube video is available at

“You have to be an Olympic level athlete to run that fast, whilst juggling five balls,” said Albert Lucas, director of Olympic development for the International Sport Juggling Federation. “Matt has broken a record that has stood for 23 years … this is a historic achievement and raises the bar for a the new generation of sport jugglers.”

Feldman also holds Guinness World Records for joggling five balls for 5,000 meters (27:06.74 minutes) and 400 meters (1:10.5 minutes).

Feldman is studying electrical engineering at the University of Florida and working toward degrees in physics and Japanese language. At Rice, Feldman is conducting nanomaterials research in the lab of professor Pulickel Ajayan. He plans to take the fall semester off to do an internship at SpaceX, a private company that designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.